Time management sounds like a horribly boring topic. Images of men and women in white suits with clipboards checking on every move you make spring to mind.
As we may not work in factories and are thinking about our lives as a whole we can forget timing our every move round the factory floor or even our own sitting room. We don't need that level of detail. .
But we do need to list what we actually do each day even if it is only a very sketchy list. Without such a list it is easy to come up with the favourite excuse of all non-achievers: “I didn't have time. " Many of us waste huge chunks of time without realizing or admitting it.
I've just wasted half an hour trying to win £16000 on a TV program. All you had to do in this particular program was add a second word to the first word ‘over’. For example someone had already won more than a thousand pounds by coming up with the word ‘overgrown’.
It should be quite easy to win but the problem is that you have to get through on the phone to the presenters. Each call costs 75 pence and more often than not you are greeted with a groan which means you have not got through and need to try again. I have just wasted £7.50 on 10 calls without getting through.
Worse than that I've wasted about half an hour making those calls. Instead I could have been reading a good book about copywriting or about how to make £16,000 without playing silly TV games!
It is astonishing how easy it is be distracted by TV, the internet, other people or pets and our own restless minds. However, if we list our main activities during the day, we will at least know how we are wasting our time. .
If we also list the main activities we plan to do each day and then record what we actually do, we will realize how much we are not doing.
The difference between those who achieve success and those who fail is not how much they know or how skilful they are but how well they manage their time. Time management is the number one life skill. It really means ‘Life management’.
Many experts agree that one way of managing your time well involves making a list of 3 to 6 things you need to do tomorrow in order of importance. Let your subconscious mind work on the list as you sleep. This should make the work much easier to do when you actually start doing it.
When you wake up, get cracking on the first item in your list and don't stop until you've finished it.
If you do stop before you finish, you will have to gather up all the loose ends before you can continue what you have started and this wastes time. You may, once stopped, not restart the task for weeks, months and even years. As you might imagine, I am speaking from my own experience!
If you actually complete your first task you will feel full of energy and ready for the second task. You will have taken another step on the road to achieving your dreams.
Even if you don't finish all the tasks on your list by the end of the day, you will feel satisfied because you will have spent your time on the most important tasks in your life at that time. Just carry over any remaining tasks until tomorrow.
Some people manage their time by devoting each day of the week to a different activity.
For example, you might work on one of your websites on a Monday. You might work on writing a book on Tuesday. You might spend Wednesday walking and exercising and so on.
I think I might get bored working on just one kind of an activity for a whole day. I prefer following a plan like the following. This can be summarised and easily remembered by the acronym SOG i. e.
Work for an hour on developing a skill that you wish to have e. g. copywriting
Work for an hour on an overwhelming task e. g. clearing the clutter in your bedroom
Work for an hour on achieving one of your key goals e. g. keeping fit
SOG, of course, stands for Skills, Overwhelming tasks and Goals.
Time management, then, needs to be taken seriously. It is not just some boring option which does not affect our lives. It can revolutionise the way we live and make our lives exciting and full of achievement. It is Life management.
Try out the list before you sleep method; the finish it before the next task method, the do one project a day method and, my favourite, the SOG method. Don't forget to create your own methods.
There is no law that says you can't use all these methods, including your own methods, at different times of the week.
Try them in turn and see what happens to your life. Good luck!
John Watson is an award winning teacher and 5th degree blackbelt martial arts instructor. He has written several ebooks on motivation and success topics. One of these can be found at
You can also find motivational ebooks by authors like Stuart Goldsmith. Check out http://www.motivationtoday.com/the_midas_method.php
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